Wines I am Enjoying: with what, whom and when
Wine: Anima Negra, An 2005 VdlT Mallorca, Spain
Grape variety: 95% Callet, 5% Mantonegra-Fogoneu (indigenous grapes from Mallorca)
Tasting note: Very robust, dark and spicy. Intense fruit flavours with savoury and smokey layers- very complex and layered. Addictive!
Food Match: Selection of Balearic-inspired Tapas: Sobrasada, Pa amb Oli, Mahon, etc.
When: Purchased while on honeymoon in Mallorca, enjoyed at home
almost 5 years later with husband. Perfect with tapas and then to sip
while watching 'Sex & Lucia' on a chilly winter evening.
Price: about £25
Wine: Prince Stirbey Novac 2010 Dragasani, Romania
Grape variety: Novac
Tasting note: Concentrated, rich, fruit flavors... lots of spice. Lovely essence of wild herbs over juicy, dark berries. Think: Rhone spice with Beaujolais fruit.
Food Match: Traditional Romanian food: various salads, salamis, meat balls, cheese
When: Visit to Romania, at a tasting with Baron Jacob and Baroness
Ileana at the Prince Stirbey Estate in Dragasani. This is the only single
grape Novac produced in the world.
Price: about £12
Wine: William Knuttel Pinot Noir 2007 Sonoma Coast, California, USA
Grape variety: Pinot Noir
Tasting note: Very aromatic nose! beautifully perfumed with ripe dark and red fruits. Medium body with lots of fresh acidity but fruit is starting to fade. Should have opened it last year. Still delicious, smooth and perfect with our dinner!
Food Match: Seared strips of duck fillets with sautéed
When: Mom visiting from California and was missing the sunshine
Price: about £15
Wine: Andeluna, Pasionado Grand Reserve Cabernet Franc 2007 Mendoza, Argentina
Grape variety: Cabernet Franc
Tasting note: Amazingly complex and rich aromas of dense red fruit, cocoa, spice wrapped in delicate oak. Very full and big wine, but beautifully structured and smooth. For lovers of big bold Malbec, but with an old-world complexity and elegance. Superb!
Food Match: During a seminar given at this tasting, wine consultant
Jade Koch suggested pairing bold Cab Francs from Argentina
with game dishes. Sorry Bambi!
When: Tasted at the Wines of Argentina Annual Tasting in London
Price: about £29
Wine: Pittnauer 'Dorflagen' St. Laurent 2010 Niederauslese, Burgenland, Austria
Grape variety: St. Laurent
Tasting note: St. Laurent grape is similar in style to Pinot Noir. And we found the familiar fleshy cherry flavours, with touches of spice. Lean and well structured!
Food Match: A variety of meat dishes from my favourite gastro-pub Princess Victoria in Shepherds Bush, West London.
When: With a group of Italian wine friends: a consultant,
a wine bar owner and winemaker- certainly a discerning bunch!
We tasted this blind and it puzzled and astounded us all!
Price: about £16
Wine: Stephane Tissot Chardonnay 2006 Arbois, Jura, France
Grape variety: Chardonnay
Tasting note: For lovers of Sherry, Chateau Musar White and that slightly oxidised flavour. Beautifully developed white fruit, and citrus but with age has gained some complexity. Very interesting style Chardonnay!
Food Match: Nigel Slater's Zucchini Fritters & Salad
When: mid-week, simple dinner but craving a slightly
unusual wine to match.
Price: about £19
Wine: Fontodi Chianti Classico 2007
Grape variety: Sangiovese
Tasting note: Fresh, red cherries with elements of leather and spice. Elegant, medium body with high acidity - perfect food wine.
Food Match: Pizza
Price: about £14
Wine: Dry River Pinot Noir 2008 Martinborough, New Zealand
Grape variety: Pinot Noir
Tasting note: Heaps of red fruit intertwined with earthy, herbaceous notes. Complex with layers of ripe fruit and savouriness. Evolves in the glass.
Food Match: Wild Mushroom Risotto
When: special dinner with husband
Price: about £50